Wednesday, 25 November 2015

TV REVIEW: London Spy - Blue

After the slower pace of the first two episodes, the violent opening to London Spy's third instalment comes as a bit of a shock to the system as Danny is dragged out of his bed by the police. It turns out the crime scene of Alex's death was littered with various bits of paraphernalia from Danny's earlier life when he was much more carefree and also careless. As the net closes in on him, he turns to Scottie for help, who willingly obliges to take up his friend's cause when he's in dire need. Danny is forced to confront elements of his past in order to start getting answers about a future that is no longer in his control.

Some thrillers make themselves about the mystery at the heart of the narrative and forget the characters operating at the heart of it. One of the best things about London Spy has been that focus on character first with the drama arising out of Danny's experiences, his relationships and the slow erosion of his life by unseen forces. Cleverly though, Tom Rob Smith also knows when to expand that story into one of institutions, prejudice and the establishment. As Danny's search continues, it gets wider in scope and in turn, feels more hopeless than ever. There's no establishment quite like the British one for closing down anyone wayward. As Scottie says towards the end of the episode, they're "quite alone."

The episode reinforces on nearly every level by becoming quite the assault on the senses at times. During Danny's interview with the police, the score punches its way into the scene at uncomfortable levels, mirroring his own desperation. After the emotional fallout of his HIV test, the music that has provided a pulse-like presence throughout is conspicuously absent, allowing his overspill of anxiety to become the only sound we hear. It's a deft combination of sound and silence that constantly unsettles throughout the episode. Moments of relative calm are just that, a brief pause before Danny dives further into the conspiracy around him.

It helps that the series has its heart one of the best actors working today. Ben Whishaw has been a captivating presence since the start, but it's Blue that pushes him further than any of the previous episodes have done. The Danny we met in the first episode - carefree, charming and laidback - has all but disappeared, replaced with a frightened, paranoid man unsure of anything. The scene in which he was told of his HIV infection, forced upon him by those that seek to discredit him, is a performance of heartrending brilliance, remarkable in its restraint and still completely devastating.

In that plot development, the episode also produces a searing criticism of social prejudices still manifesting within our society about sexuality and lifestyle choices. Tom Rob Smith utilises these prejudices to feel every bit as frustrating as the forces currently circling Danny and sealing him off from the truth behind Alex's death. Like the idea of the establishment (not only ours, but our allies now too), the prejudice that Danny will face as a result of his diagnosis feels overwhelming in its scale. One only has to look at the reaction Charlie Sheen's HIV revelation to realise how close to the truth this aspect of Danny's story is.

Elsewhere in the episode, London Spy's impressive supporting cast continue to make their presence felt in the series. Jim Broadbent is ever reliable; please forgive the wild speculation that I'm about to indulge in, but something doesn't feel quite right about Scottie. He's just a little too good to be true and if anyone knows about all the dark secrets of Danny's past that could be used against him, it's Scottie. Following on from Charlotte Rampling's turn, Mark Gatiss gleefully ups the sinister feel of this episode with ease. He used to play the kind of skincrawlingly indecent people every now and again, but this is the first drama I've seen in a while to truly capture the man's extraordinary range as a possible villain.

Having spent the first two episodes building this world, Blue feels like an uncontrollable slide into darkness as Danny's quest continues. Not content with simply functioning as a thriller, the episode's underlying social criticism enhances the plight of its central character and fully exploits the emotional responses of its audience without ever feeling cynical. Superb.

- Becky

You can read Becky's review of previous episode, Strangers, here.

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TV REVIEW: Doctor Who - Face the Raven

After one of their seemingly never-ending in-between-episode adventures, Clara and the Doctor receive a call on the emergency phone from Rigsy. He's had his memory wiped and there appears to be a tattoo on his neck counting down to something. Naturally, the Doctor and Clara arrive to investigate, finding themselves in an alien refugee camp in the middle of London (part Diagon Alley, part London Below). It's led by the returning Me, now styling herself as Mayor, and she's responsible for Rigsy's tattoo; it's a countdown to his execution for a murder he's not at all sure he committed. 

The idea of consequences has been threaded throughout the series, focused mainly on the Doctor. It's been a neat bit of misdirection because we all knew we should be worried about Clara (knowing Coleman was to leave the series), but we sort of forgot in the grand scheme of things. She's been increasingly reckless since the first episode, something that's been commented on by a lot of people she's met on the way. That she is entirely the engineer of her own downfall feels right for the character; one thing Clara has always been is in control, even when the Zygons tried to take her out. 

Clara's always been quite a divisive companion, even amongst myself and Jen. I've been on board with Coleman's performance from the start, her forthrightness and lack of mooning refreshing after the marital combination of the Ponds. She's also exerted an increasing amount of influence over the Doctor's life from weaving back through his timeline to her role in the Time War itself. I like that her final moments are spent doing exactly the same thing; keeping the Doctor on the right path and making sure he continues caring. Her final moments of accepting responsibility and commanding the Doctor to continue caring rather than avenging her was dignified to the last and beautifully performed by both Jenna Coleman and Peter Capaldi.

The structure of the episode is not as assured as it has been in the leading episodes, perhaps suffering slightly from acting as the build-up to Clara's departure (not helped by Peter Capaldi telling everyone it was going to happen either). The revelation that Me is preparing to send the Doctor somewhere in order to protect the refugee camp gets a little lost amidst those final moments and, given it's the impetus for the episode's events, feels a little clumsy. I did enjoy Capaldi's imposing dress-down of Me though. He's really quite terrifying when he wants to be.

Elsewhere in the episode, there's a lot of nice ideas floating around. After the pertinent Zygon two-parter, having a nod to alien refugees residing in London and not causing any harm was a neat touch. I always like the idea of worlds residing in worlds and trap streets are cool, the kind of places you see without seeing them. The timelessness of the trap street on which most of the action took place also added to the more universal themes of the episode. With its Tudor buildings, apparent gas lighting and assortment of individuals, the Doctor and Clara could really have been anywhere, allowing the focus to remain solely on the characters' actions throughout the episode.

There's an unevenness to Face The Raven that stems from its aim of getting rid of Clara and an event like that was always going to overshadow the proceedings somewhat. But, it was a fitting ending to one of the more influential companions in recent years and I don't know about you lot, but that last shot of the TARDIS painted by Rigsy as a tribute just about finished me off.

- Becky

You can read Becky's review of previous episode, Sleep No More, here.

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Tuesday, 24 November 2015

FEATURE: Angel - Hero

Previously on Angel: Buffy had been in town to confront Angel about Thanksgiving and leaves after about five minutes, but in this timeline, only Angel knows of an alternative path in which he became human and gave it all up to continue his battle with the forces of evil. Doyle has fancied Cordelia from the start, but is afraid that if she learns he's half demon, she'd reject him.

So after last week's episode full of pain and sacrifice and loss, we get Hero. An episode full of pain and sacrifice and loss. Doyle is finally nearing the courage to tell Cordelia that he is half demon when he has a vision of several half-human/half-demon refugees cowering in a dank basement. They're on the run from the Scourge, a gang of pure-blood demons who loathe "half-breeds" and seek their extermination. It's not the first time Doyle has had a run in with them and they prove to be his biggest test as he seeks his own brand of atonement.

When we have news stories of American states shutting down their borders to refugees forced to give up their homes and money for safe passage to another country and openly discriminatory people advocating ID cards are running for Presidential candidacy, Hero is one of those episodes whose poignancy has only grown with time. It's no coincidence that the Scourge run around in uniforms that wouldn't look out of place in the Third Reich; they're pure blood demons who have a real loathing of anyone with mixed human heritage. Prejudice is confronted on several levels; Doyle has to confront his own self-loathing for his demon half whilst Cordy has to break down her own misconceptions about demons built from her experiences in Sunnydale.

In 2002, Glenn Quinn died after an accidental heroin overdose, adding another layer of tragedy to any watches of this episode. During his short tenure on Angel, he crafted a character that fans fell in love with, creating a legacy in just nine episodes that fans still talk about to this day. Quinn had an easy charm that he brought to deal and a clear, droll sense of humour that fit well within the realms of the Whedonverse comedy stylings. That Doyle gets Whedoned early in the season was part of the plan early on which means that all of Doyle's loose narrative threads are wrapped up in this one episode. Cordelia learns of his half-demon blood and reacts with characteristic candour, admonishing him for not telling her and then asking him if he's ever going to ask her out for dinner. He never gets chance, instead kissing her before he dies and passing on his visions.

Earlier in the series, he told Angel that everyone has something to atone for and here, we learn what Doyle's particular event was. He was approached by a fellow Brachen demon seeking refuge from the Scourge and Doyle refused to help, knowing that he would be getting involved in something far bigger than he is. When he receives a vision of them all dead shortly after, he goes to their hiding place to find out if what he was shown was the truth. He finds them massacred. When the Scourge returns, he confesses all to Angel, but only realises what his test will be when the beacon is about to go off and will kill anyone in close range with human blood. Doyle jumps and succeeds, sacrificing his life in the process.

If I Will Remember You was the episode in which Angel finally and literally cast off Buffy, then Hero is the one that reinforces its darker and perhaps loftier ambitions. In my look at I Will Remember You, I talked about Angel's sacrifice and need for redemption, which has been the show's driving force from the start. To immediately follow the episode with the same themes could seem repetitive, but the show gets around that by having it as the story of Doyle's redemption. It's also an episode about the cost of fighting the good fight. Like Jesse back in Buffy's first episode or Jenny Calendar (at the hands of Angel himself, lest we forget) in the second season, the audience needs reminding of the high stakes involved in such a quest. Angel may get a happy ending, but there will be casualties along the way.

I'm of the opinion that Hero gets harder and harder to watch each time, but the coincidental relevance to ongoing news events gives it that extra layer of tragedy. It may have functioned as a simple Holocaust allegory back when it first aired, but now it's taken on whole new levels of meaning. I don't know anyone who can get through this episode without shedding a tear and if you can, well, you're more in control of your emotions than I am. It's certainly not an episode I enjoy revisiting, despite its brilliance.

Quote of the Week:

Doyle [in the Angel Investigations ad]: Come on over to our offices and you'll see that there's still heroes in this world... Is that it? Am I done?

LA Who's Who: Sean Gunn! Sean Gunn plays Lucas. And who is Sean Gunn? Brother of Guardians of the Galaxy director James and the real hero of Gilmore Girls, Kirk. He'll re-appear sans blue pin cushion face in the episode, She. There's also Lee Arenberg who goes on to play Pintel in Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl alongside Mackenzie Crook's Ragetti.

- Becky

You can read Becky's look at previous episode, I Will Remember You, here.

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Thursday, 19 November 2015

FEATURE: Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Something Blue

Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike has been neutered by the Initiative and can no longer bite people. He's taken up residence with Giles in a begrudged arrangement for information. Willow is still left hurting from Oz's departure and is also becoming more confident in practicing her magic. Buffy is tentatively moving towards a relationship with Riley.

When Willow goes over to Oz's room, she finds his stuff is all gone and that it's been collected and sent to wherever he is now. When the rest of the gang don't notice her pain thanks to their various other problems, she casts a spell that goes awry and starts to send everyone a bit loopy. Giles starts to go blind, Buffy and Spike decide to get married and Xander starts attracting every demon known to man. It's an apple cart upset of the highest order, especially with Buffy and Riley, who is understandably quite bemused when his would-be girlfriend announces her intentions to get married to someone else.

I love this episode. Like Pangs, it's one of the high points of the fourth season, a hilarious examination of the Scooby Gang's relationships, new alliances and the fractures that will later be exposed completely by Spike in The Yoko Factor. Much of the season so far has been setting these in place as the new college setting affects each of the characters very differently. Episodes that mess with established relationships and characters is always a fun move in Buffy because the characters are so well-drawn that comedy is mined from the twists on what we're used to. It also functions as one whole big whammy of foreshadowing.

Willow's spells have already got the habit of going awry, but this is the first time she really uses her powers on a big scale, specifically to harm her friends without that being her intention. In fact, Willow's magic solely comes from her good intentions, but we all know which destination they tend to pave the way to and her magic is selfish. It's always designed to make her life easier; here, it's to heal her pain, something that comes up again once she goes all Dark Willow. It's a big flashing warning sign, but not one that she heeds too greatly. After all, it'll become a pattern she'll fall into and one which always has negative consequences. You've got to love Willow's "Speak No Evil" t-shirt she wears in the final Scooby scene though, as she doles out guilt-based cookies. 

The other example of that foreshadowing this is the relationship between Buffy and Spike. Even when they're antagonistic in the beginning of the episode, there's an element of flirting in their fighting. By the time they're supposedly in love and getting married, that chemistry is dialled up to eleven as the reactions to Giles increase in their desperation. Here, it's played for comedy but even Buffy admits that it wasn't a particularly nice experience, despite being in love with him. Their relationship is unhealthy right from the start, even under magical influence. It's something that will only continue as the series goes on. It also does kind of flag up the more chemistry with Spike than Riley thing...

Although I loved Something Blue when I first saw it, because it's hilarious, it's an episode that grows stronger on repeated viewings, especially after completing the series. Foreshadowing is something that Buffy has done a lot, particularly in the third and fourth seasons and it enriches the repeated viewing experience. We see these characters fall into oh-so-human patterns of behaviour and watching episodes like Something Blue back once we know that makes everything seem that more realistic behind the magic and the vampires. Willow's on a slippery slope already, as she has been from the moment she started using magic for her own gain. Buffy's behavioural patterns don't really come to the fore until later, but it's already easy to see the warning signs with Riley.

A much more intelligent episode than I think it is given credit for, Something Blue functions as the best kind of standalone, one which adds to the ongoing character development, enriched on repeat viewings, as well as being really quite amusing.

Quote of the Week:

Buffy: Spike and I getting married!
Xander: How?! What?! How?!
Giles: Three excellent questions...

Inventive Kill: Xander and Anya drown one of his attacking demons in a sink.

Let's Get Trivial: You can actually buy 'Kiss the Librarian' mugs now like the one that Spike drinks out of in this episode. I want one.

The Angel Connection: This directly follows on from I Will Remember You; Buffy refers to seeing Angel for five minutes which was all it was from her perspective. Sob.

- Becky

You can read what Becky thought of previous episode, Pangs, here.

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Tuesday, 17 November 2015

TV REVIEW: Doctor Who - Sleep No More

The Doctor and Clara find themselves on the abandoned Le Verrier Space Station, a research lab orbiting Neptune and run by the scientist Rassmussen. They meet up with a rescue crew that has been sent to the station to find out what happened and soon find themselves 

The current series of Doctor Who has been so good that the first slight misstep registers a bit more than it would in a run of mediocre episodes. Coming after the amazing Zygon two-parter was always going to be tricky so relying on the usually excellent Mark Gatiss should've been a wise move. Sleep No More is another episode that relies on something creepy stalking an abandoned location and picking off crew one by one. Had we not already had Under The Lake, this episode might have been given more of a break. Alas, Sleep No More is a hodge-podge of ideas that never quite come together to form one big sandman of an episode, but should be admired in its ambition to try something different. 

Gatiss is a man extremely well-versed in its genre history and it shows here. The found footage format is one of horror's most prolific sub-genres in recent years, stemming back The Blair With Project. Likewise, these episodes always call to mind films like Alien with its dark corridors and stalking menaces; we even get an Ash style character in Rassmussen (played by Reece Shearsmith, who is easily the best thing in this episode), attempting to preserve the Sandmen. 

We get just glimpses of the creatures, flashes down corridors in night vision or lurking out of the shadows. It's probably the most satisfying element of the episode, one which allows our imaginations to take over, filling in blanks that we know are there. The revelation that the footage is coming from the dust in the air, rather than any cameras, is a neat one, but also feels like a bit of a get out clause so that the episode never fully commits to the found footage idea.

The episode is framed by Rassmussen, functioning as both a narrator and creepy space station overlord, but it also strips away some of the tension of the episode. We realise Rassmussen makes it to at least string together the footage from various cameras across the station and that he's the bad guy doesn't really come as a shock. We also know Clara and the Doctor aren't going to die, at least not yet in Clara's case. The rest of the rescue crew aren't drawn well enough for the audience to care as they fight for their life. Again, going back to Under the Lake, each crew member was recognisably individual and their personalities came across. Aside from Chopra, the others barely get a look at any kind of development over the episode, and his is only brief.

The Zygon Invasion and Inversion took on the War on Terror as its central allegory, using its narrative to comment on events that have shaped our reality, sadly proving ultimately quite timely in its broadcast. At its heart, Sleep No More is attempting to do something similar, but with a criticism of capitalism and exploitation at its heart. The grunts, bred to do the dirty work without the brain capacity for any selfish realisation are pure Brave New World, a creation of humanity at its most basic working level to preserve higher human intelligence. The Morpheus machine is designed to monetise sleep and thus allow employees to now work through the night instead of wasting their time on sleep. The episode pays mere lip service to this rather than really flying with it. 

It's the first single episode story we've had so far and it shows. Too much is thrown together in the shorter episode runtime and the breathing space that other episodes benefitted from is lost. The most frustrating part of this episode though is that its cleverest idea appears right at the very end as a coda to the rushed ending. Rassmussen revealing that he has been a Sandman all along and that he is using the video to transmit signals and turn any viewer into a Sandman should have been a story in itself. A found footage horror movie that transforms you into the horror monster? A much cooler idea than anything presented in the preceding runtime.

I suppose we were due a bit of a duff episode given the quality of the rest of the season, but that doesn't stop Sleep No More being such a disappointment. It's ambitious in a shift of form as well as the amount of ideas that it tries to pack in, but it never allows any of them to take centre stage and leaves the whole episode feeling like a patchwork of references and loose narrative threads. Look, it's even made me mix metaphors.

- Becky

You can read Jen's review of previous episode, The Zygon Inversion, here.

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TV REVIEW: London Spy - Strangers

Still reeling from the revelation that Alex wasn't at all who he said he was, Danny embarks on his own personal quest to prove that his boyfriend was murdered. The police still refuse to believe that Danny was completely unaware of Alex's S&M lifestyle so he turns to the press to try and tell his side of the story. After they run a double-page spread exposing all sorts of nasty things about both Danny and Alex, he is invited to stay at his former lover's parents' house, where the mystery deepens even further.

Thanks to the opening episode taking its time to establish both Danny and Alex, as well as the central mystery around which the series will now revolve, the second episode is allowed move forward with that puzzle. Strangers throws a lot of information at us during its runtime; Danny is in possession of something which needs to be cracked by a code, Alex's mother perhaps knows more than she is letting on and Danny is being watched, maybe aided, by a mysterious American who leaves him his card. The bulk of the episode is devoted to Alex's family and his unconventional upbringing with a mother (the wonderfully sinister Charlotte Rampling) who pushed him hard to realise his potential.

Whishaw is mesmerising in the central role; even simple things like staring out of a train window seem vitally important to understanding what Danny's going through at this point in time. It's a measured performance though and given that the series rides on Danny's emotions, Whishaw takes care to ensure it never strays into anything disproportionately overt. The after-dinner library scene with Rampling is beautifully taut, each character playing their cards close to their chest, Frances especially. She's a classic domineering mother, but someone who absolutely still believes she did the right thing for her son. 

There's a curious relationship developing as a result of the differences between Danny and Alex in how Danny views the rest of the world. Whilst Alex was devoted to reason and order, Danny is much more intuitive, something which proves to be a strength as he starts to move into Alex's world. He realises that two older people masquerading as Alex's parents aren't who they say they are not with reason, as Alex's actual mother points out, but with feeling. Likewise, he instantly knows which Alex's room is because "it's the loneliest room" he's ever been in. It's an intriguing idea, one which branches off from the usual dogged investigation of deduction and reason into one of feeling and irrationality. The fact that Danny is a bit haphazard and openly emotional could be what allows him to see things others can't.

That idea of sight and seeing is built into the episode, a continuation of the noirish themes that dominated the first instalment. As Danny makes his way through Alex's childhood home, everything is partially covered, hidden by dust sheets or overtaken by ivy and obscured from view. Lamps only half-light rooms, leaving vast swathes of the house in complete darkness. In Alex's room, everything is left uncovered as this is where Danny understands by simply knowing his partner well enough to see his room the way he left it. It does mean that the episode loses its subtlety in places. Danny making his way through the maze may have seemed like a clever symbolism during production, but it jars with the more intelligent sets elsewhere.

As it's only five episodes long, I'm expecting the pace to pick up more in the next few episodes, but so far London Spy has felt refreshing in its slow unfolding. It's more befitting of the emotional tragedy that lies at the heart of its mystery and Danny is a suitably unconventional hero to follow the revelations with. It may not be the most subtle, but it's certainly captivating.

- Becky

You can read Becky's review of previous episode, Lullaby, here.

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FEATURE: Angel - I Will Remember You

Previously on Angel: Doyle had a vision of Buffy in danger which sent Angel running to Sunnydale with the aim of protecting her without the two ever meeting. This was a bad plan.

Buffy arrives in LA after Angel’s skulking protector role in her own show’s episode, more than a little upset that she wasn't included in Dark and Forehead’s plan. Whilst they're hashing out their differences, they're attacked by a mutant ninja demon thing with a sword and in wounding it, Angel gets some of his blood on him. It turns out that the blood turns him human, suddenly allowing him and Buffy to have a proper relationship that involves food and other… stuff. Yet, as there always is, there is a catch. Angel is much weaker and less capable in his human state and he realises he can't keep saving people that way or protect Buffy, leaving him with a horrible decision.

Oh boy. This episode.

First of all, before I get to the sad bits, this episode is a huge one in terms of the series because it re-establishes Angel’s quest for redemption as a hero and the sacrifices he is willing to make in order to do that. Time is a key theme throughout the episode, opening with Angel placing a carriage clock, he gives a watch to the Oracles and scenes are frequently underscored by a ticking clock or, for the first time, Angel's heartbeat. Time is a gift, something to be savoured and also something to be lost, which is the cruel lesson for Angel in this episode.

The episode is such a rollercoaster of emotions that it lives in infamy. It's the first time that Angel really flies because it has that central idea of consequence and sacrifice at its heart, as well as a helping hand from the guest appearance from the Slayer herself. What makes it all the more painful is we get to see Angel and Buffy having that life, albeit briefly. There's ice cream and kissing and joking and kissing in the sunshine. Seeing the ultimate Whedonverse couple who have never been able to properly do that get the chance for happiness is wish fulfilment for both them and us. Buffy even says she feels like a normal girl for the first time ever. And man, are repeat watches of this episode difficult.

Part of that is to do with the excellent performances of both Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz and it really works, partly because the weight of Buffy as a parent show is used to push Angel forward rather than simply echoing it. They both so fully inhabit these roles that when they're together, the chemistry takes over, the weight of their tortured relationship seems to be embodied in every line. And of course, none of this would be complete without Christophe Beck's gorgeous 'Close Your Eyes' theme, which just adds to the tears.

Whilst Gellar has had the meatier role for the larger part of their relationship, Boreanaz seizes his moment perfectly, building on the already great work he's done in his first few episodes of his own show. Angel's character in Buffy was defined almost solely by his relationship with the Slayer with only really Amends devoted to his past and conscience. Here, he gets the spotlight and the accompanying development. He is a character built on consequence and redemption, much more so here than he was in Buffy.

I'm not usually a fan of the 'turn back time and it never happened' trope, as I mentioned in The Wish, and I think that and this episode is part of the reason why. It set such a high standard of how effectively a narrative erasure could be done and the consequences it should have for its central character that I've measured other uses of it and found them wanting. It helps that the idea of time is woven throughout the episode, ensuring that its use as a solution is simply an evolution of a theme. Also, it works so well for Angel as he has to live with the knowledge of what he could have had (and could still have, though we're not at the Shanshu Prophecy yet) works extremely well on a character level.

Finally, what I love about this episode (despite the fact that it breaks my heart) are all the little moments we get in between the dark and brooding love story at its centre. Angel walking in through the front door in broad daylight for the first time and Cordelia, not making the connection at all, assuming he's brought an umbrella. It's Angel seeing his reflection for the first time in centuries and not quite able to comprehend what is happening to him. The awkward moments between him and Buffy as they work out how to go about a normal relationship, neither of them having the faintest clue about how that works. And Angel with ice cream, which is probably the most adorable look of glee Boreanaz has ever produced.

I never get through this episode without ugly-crying my way through the last five minutes. It's heartbreak of the kind only Buffy and Angel could produce. Next week, it's Hero. So, prepare for more tears.

Quote of the Week:

Female Oracle: I like time. There is so little and so much of it.

Let's Get Trivial: There is a foreshadowing to Buffy's death in The Gift here. Angel asks the Oracles what would happen to Buffy if he remained mortal, to which they reply what must happen to all mortals "though in the Slayer's case, sooner"

Demonology 101: First appearance of the Oracles who have a role to play as Season One develops.

The Buffy Connection: This episode follows directly on from Pangs in which Angel arrived in Sunnydale over Thanksgiving to help protect Buffy, who then turns up to see him the following day in LA during her Thanksgiving break.

- Becky

You can read Becky's look at previous episode, The Bachelor Party, here.

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